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Brooklyn field hospital never saw a coronavirus patient

Michael Leahy

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Brooklyn field hospital never saw a coronavirus patient

A roughly $21 million Brooklyn field hospital authorized by the de Blasio administration at the height of the coronavirus pandemic opened and closed without ever seeing one patient, according to city officials.

The Brooklyn Cruise Terminal in Red Hook was one of several sites across the five boroughs converted into a medical facility as a way to relieve the city’s overburdened hospital system as the COVID-19 crisis mounted.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced plans on Mar. 31 — a day after the USNS Comfort hospital ship arrived in New York Harbor to aid in the coronavirus fight — for the $20.8 million Red Hook field hospital with an estimated capacity for 750 beds.

The field hospital was built by Texas-based construction company SLSCO.

“They are going to set it up rapidly and we’re then going to go to the next site, the next site, the next site to meet our goal,” de Blasio told reporters of the site during that press conference in which the mayor also outlined the details to turn Queens’ Billie Jean King National Tennis Center into a 350-bed temporary hospital.

The Brooklyn Cruise Terminal in Red Hook
The field hospital was closed before it ever opened.

The makeshift hospital at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal was expected to open in April, but was not ready until May 4 – and is now being disbanded after being left unused, The City first reported.

“As part of our hospital surge, we expanded capacity at a breakneck speed, ensuring our hospital infrastructure would be prepared to handle the very worst. We did so only with a single-minded focus: saving lives,” de Blasio spokeswoman Avery Cohen told The Post Friday.

“Over the past few months, social distancing, face coverings, and other precautionary measures have flattened the curve drastically, and we remain squarely on focused taking that progress even further,” Cohen added.

The funding for the Red Hook hospital is expected to be reimbursed by FEMA.

Michael Leahy has worked in various news organizations and now aims to make Report Door one of the best and fastest growing news websites in the U.S. He contributes to the US section. He loves going around different people in the US and loves meeting new people and making new friends.

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De Blasio signs bill capping NYC restaurant delivery-app fees

Michael Leahy

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De Blasio signs bill capping NYC restaurant delivery-app fees

Mayor Bill de Blasio signed several bills on Tuesday that could temporarily eat into the profits of food-ordering and delivery apps like Grubhub and UberEats.

Starting June 2, the commissions that food-delivery apps can charge Big Apple eateries will be capped at 20 percent — or 15 percent for delivery charges and 5 percent for any other fees. Such apps have been criticized for charging as much as 40 percent in some cases for orders they help generate and deliver.

Grubhub, which owns Seamless, will also be forced to stop charging restaurants fees for telephone orders that did not result in a take-out order. The Chicago firm has come under fire for charging restaurateurs for answering the phone, even when no order was placed, after The Post first reported on the practice last year.

The new laws will remain in effect for 90 days after New York’s state-of-emergency order is lifted.

Grubhub on Wednesday reiterated its previous statement that the commission cap is “arbitrary” and “will not withstand a legal challenge.”

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Catholic churches in NYC reopen with social-distancing measures

Michael Leahy

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Catholic churches in NYC reopen with social-distancing measures

Catholic churches in Brooklyn and Queens shuttered for months due to the coronavirus outbreak reopened on Tuesday with some changes — including social-distancing signage and mandatory masks.

Worshipers in protective face coverings flocked to pews, at a maximum of 10 at a time, and some were even spotted donning plastic gloves as they prayed.

Diocese of Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio gave his blessing for churches, closed since March 20, to open for private prayer and devotion, with 6-feet social-distancing regulations being maintained.

DiMarzio also granted permission to start holding funerals, baptisms and weddings, also with a strict maximum of 10 people and mandatory masks. Mass is still being streamed online.

At least two houses of worship, Immaculate Heart of Mary in Kensington and Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Sunset Park, plastered bright yellow police-style “CAUTION” tape to keep people a safe distance apart.

“I know it may look like a crime scene, or a construction site . . . but, it is a sign that light is at the end of the tunnel!” Immaculate Heart of Mary wrote on Facebook, announcing it will now be open daily from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for private prayer.

Numerous yellow warnings also reminded parishioners to “maintain social distancing” of at least 6 feet.

“Social Distancing is a MUST!” the church stressed on Facebook, outlining other rules including “sanitize your hands frequently” and “No Touching the Statues!”

At Our Lady of Perpetual Help, at least a dozen worshipers cycled through in just 30 minutes between 11:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., with a staffer escorting people to specific seats a safe distance apart.

Another church, Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph in Prospect Heights, used more subdued signs to split up seating areas, including for families, couples and those coming to pray on their own. They also tacked on blue tape to pews to the mark 6-feet distance.

The precautions are being taken “to provide atmosphere that everyone can feel safe coming to church,” said Msgr. Kieran Harrington, the rector at the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph.

“Some people will be scared, and we want to let them see that the church is a place where you can feel safe to come and to pray and to be with others,” he told The Post.

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U.S. DOJ closing insider trading probes into three senators: WSJ

Michael Leahy

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Patriotic Poles led astray by mis-labelled Ukrainian cucumbers

(Reuters) – The U.S. Department of Justice is closing probes into three U.S. senators over stock trades made shortly before the coronavirus market turmoil, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The three senators include Republicans Kelly Loeffler of Georgia and James Inhofe of Oklahoma, and Democrat Dianne Feinstein of California, the Journal reported, adding that prosecutors are alerting their defense attorneys about the closing of the probes.

However, the DOJ’s related probe into Senator Richard Burr is continuing, according to the newspaper.

Representatives for Burr, the DOJ and the FBI declined to comment.

The senators were investigated over selling large amounts of stock before the coronavirus-induced market meltdown and after closed-door briefings on the outbreak this year.

Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru. Editing by Gerry Doyle

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